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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I Learned From Successful Local Bloggers

Hello hello..

When I first started blogging, I didn't know that people could become famous and make it into a career. When I did, I wanted to get a piece of the cake too. A gazzillion following, sponsored trips and products, TV and magazine appearances? Give me a piece of that action.

I did my research and found out that a lot of bloggers were playing with numbers by joining link parties (I think that's what they call them) and posting up to 3 times daily on their blog. At first I thought that it was a good idea but when I see that among their thousands of followers, only 30 were commenting and with singulars words such as "Cool", "Nice", "Pretty", I knew that wasn't what I wanted.

You see, what I want is an audience that follows me because what I say touches them, appeals to them. And let's face it, blogging every day and blog walking hundreds of people daily is too time consuming especially when you do it out of obligation and not sincerity. There's just got to be a better way to find people who like me for me and who are interested in what I have to say. It might not be thousands of people, but that's alright.

So I looked into all the local blogs that are doing exceptionally well and I feel that I have learned the most from these 3 blogger below. If you are interested to know the lessons I've garnered, keep on reading.

**Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if any of what I write below is misinterpreted by me. I got these info from following them for years and reading as well as hearing them being interviewed. Bukan saya yang interview sendiri, research semata2. Again kalau ada misinterpretion, please correct me in a polite and graceful manner. Thanks. 

Dr. Fatin Liyana Asri of honeykoyuki.blogspot.com
Personally, I dub her the Elle Fowler of Malaysia. Why? Because she has that je ne sais quoi which appeals to everyone, making her rise to fame an (almost) effortless one on her part. She doesn't have a long blogroll and she rarely replies comments. After completing her studies and while she was doing her Medical Housemanship she rarely ever updates her blog but people still flock to it hoping for a new entry. I myself experience a rush whenever I know that she has a new post up. So what did I learn from her?

1. Write about what you'd like to read
Dr. Fatin once revealed that she writes about what she would like to read about; tips on beauty and weight loss, fashion, recipes, etc. She wants her blog to educate people in a laid back manner, kind of like talking with a friend.

2. Love what you do
Dr. Fatin loves to blog because she also treats it like her online diary. She documents her travels, her studying for an exam. She said that it helps her to remember things that she would have probably forgotten. She also used it to share her life as a student on foreign soil with her family especially when she first started out blogging.

3. Don't let fame consume you.
Dr. Fatin Liyana won the Best Celebrity Blog for Malaysia Social Media Week in 2012 besting Hanis Zalikha who is a model, actress and beauty queen. She and her blog was listed as the Top 6 Fastest Rising People and Top 5 Blog in Malaysian respectively back in 2011. However, she still seems to stay grounded and her essence remains untouched as far as I could tell.

4. Know what's important and prioritize accordingly
Dara magazine to the teenaged Muslimahs is the equivalent of Seventeen magazine to an American teen. To be featured in it and to be on the cover was a dream fro Dr. Fatin. However, she put her Medical studies in Bandung, Indonesia first by only doing shoots during her semester break. It only made Dara (and other magazines) want her more. She has been featured in the magazine as well as become the cover for it. Several time in fact.

Yuyu Zulaikha of kupukupukecik.blogspot.com
Yuyu Zulaikha is a 4ft 10" woman with a huge personality. She really puts herself out there, sharing openly about her experiences good and bad about studying and growing up in Langkawi. She is funny, witty and loves using silly metaphors to describe things and actions as well as feelings. From Yuyu I learned that...

1. Own who you are
Acknowledge your background and remember where you come from because that is what makes you well, you. You may think that you are boring but the world is large and everyone's life experience is different so share a part of yourself to the world.

2. Be yourself
Yuyu is the type of person that I am sure everyone has met at least once in their lifetime; the petite chatterbox. Some people might like that and there are others who don't but that's her and she's not changing herself. Although there are more review and promotional content now on her blog, Yuyu's personality shines through in each and every entry. Just like her, we should let our personalities shine through in and not worry about not pleasing everyone.

3. Got a flaw? Make it work
Yuyu is a petite little thing but she makes that part of her brand and her identity. Her blog name itself, 'Kupu-kupu Kecik' means small butterfly and it works with the overall feel of her blog. She has several modelling gigs under her belt too and in a way represents the petite in the local fashion industry. How cool is that?

4. Be close to God/ Believe in the greater good
If you believe in God, nurture that belief. If you don't believe in God then be positive and believe that there is good in the world. Rizqi (good things) comes when you are are open to anything that comes your way good and bad. When things get rough, you know it will get better and when things are good, you know it doesn't last and won't stick your nose high in the air.

Rayyan Haries of www.thebigsmallboy.com
I have the honor of meeting Rayyan face to face and to hear his story. About 11 months prior to us meeting he had flunked his TESL course and lost his scholarship. He took all the money from every bank he had (amounting to about RM2K) and backpacked across South East Asia. He had been blogging under the lifestyle genre for about 3 or 4 years at that time. He changed his genre to travelling and the rest was history. Here's what I learned from him..

1. Sometimes, it's just a matter of a little tweaking
Despite being a lifestyle blogger for 3-4 years, he only flourished when he switched to becoming a travel blogger. In less than a year too! So let us dig deep, what speaks the most to us? Is it lifestyle? Is it food? Let's find our niche, dive right into it and see where it takes us.

2. If it is meant to be, nothing and no one can stop it..
Australia was one of the countries which Rayyan applied for University for his scholarship but as you know he did not make it. About 2 months ago he landed in Melbourne and gallivanted around Australia until a fortnight ago. He was meant to go to Australia, just through a different avenue and later than expected. See how wonderful life can be?

3. Working with what you have and making it awesome
As with Yuyu Zulaikha, Rayyan doesn't fit into your typical mold of  what can be categorized as 'a looker'. He's not tall nor is he buffed. He is chubby and has a bubbly, almost child-like personality (I love how wholeheartedly he gets excited over things) which works very well with his blog 'The Big Small Boy' or 'The Cute Backpacker'. His size has become his asset as a lot of people he met along the way remember him because of it and in a good way too.

Now, while all 3 bloggers taught me mostly different lessons, there are a few things that I think they have in common which can be beneficial for all of us to know:
1. They stayed humble from the beginning to now.
2. They used their popularity to help the less fortunate (Rayyan volunteered in Leyte Island , Philipphines in the wake of  Typhoon Yolanda and Dr. Fatin sold clothes to donate to Gaza victims).
3. They went into blogging with with no expectations.
4. They blogged from the heart (Rayyan personally gave me this advise too).
4. They aim to educate the public with their niche respectively.
5. They work hard to get where they are today in their own ways.

What are your favorite well-known blogger(s)? Have you learned anything from him/her/them? Share it in the comments section below.